WageIndicator Gazette 9 - December 2005

Argentina and Mexico to join the WageIndicator family
A first extension of the WageIndicator project outside Europe was made possible in 2005 by the development assistance program of the Dutch FNV, confederation of trade unions. A follow up under the same label now allows for the inclusion of Argentina and Mexico. They start February 2006.

From the first batch, i.e. Brazil, India, South Africa and South Korea, all countries have been brought online in the course of 2005. All in all the WageIndicator group will have 28 operational websites in 17 countries in 2006.

Belgian metal workers put in extra hours for free
The Belgian WageIndicator dataset generates surprise after surprise. The first research results, on which we reported last September, showed a considerable gender pay gap in Belgium. Men earn a median 1645 euro net per month, women only 1312 euro, i.e. on average 20% less!

This time our colleagues from Leuven university focussed on the metal sector. And again, surprise. They find that metal workers on a weekly basis work overtime an average of 42 minutes. Nothing wrong with that, if they agree to do so. But 39% of those working overtime are not compensated for their extra effort, not in cash and/or extra time off.

Quality jump in data-intake
Since October 2004 the dataset is released on a quarterly basis. The datamanagers test the data for completeness and uniqueness. An observation is complete when it has values for six critical variables. These are education, occupation, industry, wage, sex, and year of birth. In addition, this test aims to detect any technical failures. An observation is unique when double cases are excluded. Our datamanagers do that too.

Our programmers have, to a large extent, solved the unlikely problem of out-of-range values. Such values seemed impossible in a web-survey. A major reason for their occurrence was found in the data from textboxes. We found that semicolons typed by visitors cause cell overflow when converted to statistics. But that problem seems to be tackled now.

For the data from 31.09.04 to 14.09.05, in total 2.7% was invalid. The improved tests for missing values, duplicate cases and out-of-range values must lead to lower percentages of invalid cases.

And the latest on data quality control. Until November 2005, only completed questionnaires were registered. Completed means that the respondent has pressed the button SEND at the end of the questionnaire. From November onwards, incomplete questionnaires are also registered. A variable will indicate whether the data comes from completed or incomplete questionnaires.

Season's greetings WageIndicator Team
This WageIndicator Gazette nr 9, is the last one for 2005. Enjoy your Gazette. Thanks for your attention. Next Gazette Februari 2006! WageIndicator Team

New media partners in Germany and UK
The WagIndicator coalition in Germany was recently reinforced with the joining of 2 new media partners. These are the Rheinische Post and the Stuttgarter Zeitung, strong regional dailies with a long tradition and loyal readers. This may lead to another quantum jump in visitors and data intake.

Similarly, in the UK portal MSN joined the British team. From earlier experience in the Netherlands we know how important such a partner is in generating traffic.

And in the Netherlands the team will work together with the Postbank. The bank, part of the ING-group, tries to recruit young customers through the internet.

Salary checker for IT in India
That´s the fun of the WageIndicator, check your pay. To put Paycheck.in on a fast track, the Wage Indicator Foundation got income data from the it-sector in India at Mafoi´s. Mafoi is a multinational company specializing in labour market information. Their data on it-workers in India are detailed and accurate enough to base some pay checks on. A second batch income data, not yet ready, will cover parts of the huge manufacturing sector. These first checks should make the website attractive enough for many visitors – and a lot of new data to create pay checks for many more occupations.

June 2006 Amsterdam, world conference
It will all happen again, but on a higher level and with more participants than last year in Amsterdam. All national 17 WageIndicator teams are invited to send a researcher and web manager/coordinator to participate during 3 or 4 days in this world event. Fresh WageIndicator teams from China, Turkey, Japan and Norway will also be invited. Detailed programme is not yet finished. But expected issues: wage calculations; multinational research; internet research; web marketing; business plans.

From the press in NL, DE, IN, ILO
Wages in all countries, gather!
Believe it or not, that was the headline in the Dutch financial daily Financieel Dagblad on September 29. A full page was dedicated to the extension of the originally Dutch WageIndicator abroad. Innovative and export product were some of the qualifications of the reporter, who interviewed international web- and research coordinators Paulien Osse and Kea Tijdens. Boy oh boy, were they flattered!

Earn what you should
Under this heading the Stuttgarter Zeitung announced its participation in the WageIndicator project as from December 2005. It speaks of a unique plan and encourages its readers to complete the questionnaire and in this way improve the salary checks. By now there are salary checks for 50 occupations based exclusively on German data. Also in December some other media wrote encouraging lines about Lohnspiegel.de.

Time for a reality check
This wrote the Deccan Herald> on November 30, a day after Paycheck.in was launched by Gerd Rohde form UNI, Geneva. UNI, a global union organizing a.o. it-workers, is a staunch supporter of the WageIndicator in India.

ILO update
On behalf of the ILO´s Global Union Research Network the international support team updated their story on the WageIndicator project. It was published by the ILO in November. In this way union researchers worldwide can keep track of our development.

And for Korean eyes only
Labour Today wrote about the start of WageIndicator in Korea. The site will be launched in Januari.

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